Resources and information about Indigenous Issues

Resources and information for students about Indigenous health, culture and welfare

In this section, resources have been identified that provide information about the health, cultural and welfare of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. Students might find it helpful to access these resources to understand specific issues while on their clinical placement.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet
is an excellent, comprehensive and current internet resource that aims to inform practice and policy in Indigenous health by making research and other knowledge readily accessible.

The Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet includes a regularly updated Summary of Australian Indigenous Health that provides a plain language summary of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, with brief information about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population, health problems and common risk factors.

Indigenous Allied Health Australia (IAHA) is the national peak body representing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander allied health professionals and students.

Provision of Allied Health Services to Australian Regional & Remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities is a position paper published by Services for Australian Rural and Remote Allied Health (SARRAH)The 2008 edition is currently under review.

National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (NACCHO) is an authority in comprehensive Aboriginal primary health care and the body that represents Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services throughout Australia

Reconciliation Australia provides a glimpse of how life looks from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspective and is an excellent introduction to the diversity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history and culture and to the building of respectful relationships.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health is an Australian Government website that provides information about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health programs and the work of the Office for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (OATSIH).

The Lowitja Institute is an innovative research body that brings together Aboriginal organisations, academic institutions and government agencies to facilitate collaborative, evidence-based research into Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health.

Indigenous Observatory from The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare provides a repository of information on the health and welfare of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.  This site is a particularly useful for statistics and demographic information.

Rural Health Education Foundation YouTubeTM provides health education to rural and remote health professionals and their communities and has many videos exploring issues surrounding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island peoples’ health.

Crossing the Line is an hour-long documentary with an accompanying Study Guide. The film offers a rare insight into the practical realities of providing Western medical services to Indigenous communities and illustrates ways in which engagement can contribute to an improvement in the crisis in Aboriginal health today.  Often considered quite a confronting documentary, this film might be useful when combined with a thorough debriefing discussion. The DVD is available from university libraries for student borrowing.


Recommended reading

Students could be encouraged to borrow these from their university library to use as a resource while on placement.  Alternatively, most universities provide library borrowing access to clinical educators.

Bond, C. (2005). A culture of ill health: public health or Aboriginality? Medical Journal of Australia, 183(1), 39-41.

Bond, C. (2009). Starting at strengths... an Indigenous early years intervention. Medical Journal of Australia, 191(3), 175-177.

Eckermann, A., Dowd, T., Chong, E., Nixon, L., Gray, R. and Johnson, S. (2010).  Binan Goonj: Bridging cultures in Aboriginal health. 3rd Edition. Chatswood: Elsevier.

  • This is a comprehensive Indigenous health text that addresses key topics in a clear and accessible manner.
  • There is also online access to free learning resources that supplement the content of the book.

Edwards T., Smith J., Smith R., and Elston J. (2007). Cultural Perspectives. In Smith, J (Ed.) Australia's Rural and Remote Health: A Social Justice Perspective. Croydon: Tertiary Press. (pp 48-72)

  • This text provides:
    • a clear explanation of ‘Cultural Safety’ p.61;
    • an interesting Cultural Safety Case Study and discussion questions p.67;
    • and suggests 11 Principles for working effectively with Australian Indigenous peoples p.69.

Taylor, K. and Guerin, P. (2010). Health care and Indigenous Australians: Cultural safety in practice. Melbourne: Palgrave Macmillan.



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